Section 373.046, Florida Statutes 2004
373.046 Interagency agreements.--
(1) The department may enter into interagency agreements with or among any other state agencies conducting programs or exercising powers related to or affecting the water resources of the state. Such agreements may establish principal-agency or contract relationships; provide for cross-deputization of enforcement personnel; provide for consolidation of facilities, equipment, or personnel; or provide such other relationships as may be deemed beneficial to the public interest. Such interagency agreements shall be promulgated in the same manner as rules and regulations, subject to chapter 120. All state agencies conducting programs or exercising powers relating to or affecting the water resources of the state are hereby authorized to delegate such authority to the department or any of the several water management districts pursuant to such interagency agreements.
(2) The St. Johns River Water Management District and the Southwest Florida Water Management District shall enter into an interagency agreement allowing the Southwest Florida Water Management District to process all permit applications for activities within Polk County requiring a permit from the St. Johns River Water Management District.
(3) Each water management district is authorized to adopt rules or enter into interagency agreements with the Department of Environmental Protection providing that the water management districts shall have an opportunity to review and comment upon matters within the jurisdiction of each district that are addressed by reclamation activities subject to the provisions of ss. 378.201-378.212 or s. 378.601. Activities covered by such rules or interagency agreements shall not be subject to the permitting requirement of part IV of this chapter. However, to the extent that any dam, impoundment, dike, levee, work, or appurtenant work remains after completion of all reclamation activities, such facilities shall be subject to the requirements of part IV of this chapter pertaining to operation, maintenance, and abandonment. A water management district, upon entering into such interagency agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection, shall provide notice of such action by publication in a newspaper having general circulation in the affected area.
(4) The Legislature recognizes and affirms the division of responsibilities between the department and the water management districts as set forth in ss. III. and X. of each of the operating agreements codified as rules 17-101.040(12)(a)3., 4., and 5., Florida Administrative Code. Section IV.A.2.a. of each operating agreement regarding individual permit oversight is rescinded. The department shall be responsible for permitting those activities under part IV of this chapter which, because of their complexity and magnitude, need to be economically and efficiently evaluated at the state level, including, but not limited to, mining, hazardous waste management facilities and solid waste management facilities that do not qualify for a general permit under chapter 403. With regard to postcertification information submittals for activities authorized under chapters 341 and 403 siting act certifications, the department, after consultation with the appropriate water management district and other agencies having applicable regulatory jurisdiction, shall be responsible for determining the permittee's compliance with conditions of certification which were based upon the nonprocedural requirements of part IV of this chapter. The Legislature authorizes the water management districts and the department to modify the division of responsibilities referenced in this section and enter into further interagency agreements by rulemaking, including incorporation by reference, pursuant to chapter 120, to provide for greater efficiency and to avoid duplication in the administration of part IV of this chapter by designating certain activities which will be regulated by either the water management districts or the department. In developing such interagency agreements, the water management districts and the department should take into consideration the technical and fiscal ability of each water management district to implement all or some of the provisions of part IV of this chapter. Nothing herein rescinds or restricts the
authority of the districts to regulate silviculture and agriculture pursuant to part IV of this chapter or s. 403.927. By December 10, 1993, the secretary of the department shall submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives regarding the efficiency of the procedures and the division of responsibilities contemplated by this subsection and regarding progress toward the execution of further interagency agreements and the integration of permitting with sovereignty lands approval. The report also will consider the feasibility of improving the protection of the environment through comprehensive criteria for protection of natural systems.
(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 403.927, when any operating agreement is developed pursuant to subsection (4), the department shall have regulatory responsibility under part IV of this chapter for aquaculture activities that meet or exceed the thresholds for aquaculture general permits authorized pursuant to ss. 370.26 and 403.814.
(6) When the geographic area of a project or local government crosses water management district boundaries, the affected districts may designate a single affected district by interagency agreement to implement in that area, under the rules of the designated district, all or part of the applicable regulatory responsibilities under this chapter. Interagency agreements entered into under this subsection which apply to the geographic area of a local government must have the concurrence of the affected local government. The application under this subsection, by rule, of any existing district rule that was adopted or formally noticed for adoption on or before May 11, 1995, is not subject to s. 70.001.
History.--s. 9, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 3, ch. 85-211; s. 41, ch. 89-279; s. 22, ch. 93-213; s. 253, ch. 94-356; s. 16, ch. 96-247; s. 7, ch. 97-160; s. 20, ch. 98-333; s. 17, ch. 2000-364.